Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sew Along/Tutorial for New Look 6232

A few months ago I led a sewalong on a sewing forum for New Look 6232. Please understand that I do not claim to be an expert or even an exceptional seamstress. I'm just a gal who loves to sew and finds it to be therapeutic. I have used this pattern several times and I use a few shortcuts. I hope this sew along info will be useful to someone.

Day 1

Prepare and trim pattern-- Select the size you want to make. I start with a size 2 sizes larger than my RTW size. I have found over years that this almost always works for me. Measure yourself and compare those measurements to the measurements that corresponds to that particular size on the back of the pattern envelope. You can also measure the pattern pieces subtracting the seam allowances to compare the measurements . Just remember to allow for ease.

Layout your pattern on your fabric and cut out your shirt just like any other garment you might make. Mark your pocket placement and front and back darts. I use a different pocket than the one in the pattern because I already had a template for it.

Cut the interfacing for the interfacing for the pattern pieces requiring interfacing and fuse if using fusible interfacing-- Collar, collar stand(one), Front bands(two), and cuffs(two). I vary from the pattern here and cut the interfacing only to the fold line on the front bands. Most patterns do it this way and you should get a crisper fold by doing it that way.
When I cut my interfacing I trim away a little on the edges out of the seam allowance. On the interfacing for the collar and cuffs trim off the points. You will get a nicer point when you press.

OPTIONAL: I use cardstock to cut a template for my Pocket and sleeve placket. Trace your pocket pattern. Trim odd the seam allowance and to the fold line at the top of the pocket. Do this also for the top portion of the sleeve placket with the. It will be easier to press under those little seam allowances. I also have a sheet of cardstock that I have drawn 5/8, 1/2 and 1/4 inch lines on to use as a guide for pressing under seam allowances. To me this is a time saver rather than picking up and laying down a seam gauge but it is intirely up to you if you want to do this.


Here is a pic of the sleeve placket. The area marked in red is the area to use to cut the template. I didn't feel like I explained. That well.

Day 2

Sorry for all the pics but the pics explain it better than words to me.

Steps1-3 and 6-11

Stay stitch front and back neck to prevent stretching when applying collar stand.

Sew front and back darts and press.

Make your pockets if using pockets. If you cut the template for the pocket use it to press your seam allowances like the example in the photo. Position your pocket where the pocket placement is marked to the shirt fronts.I use Wash Away Wonder Tape to baste my pocket to the shirt. On occasion when I was out of WWT I have used a bit of Wonder Under cut into 1/4 strips to secure the pocket while I stitched. The problem,as you might guess, with that is that it can't be repositioned.
Edge stitch pocket in place.

This is a series of pictures showing how I do the pockets using the template and Wonder Tape:

I serge the top edge of the pocket, fold and press on the fold line. I place a piece of painters tape on the bed of my sewing machine to use as a seam guide. I then stitch from the right side. Sometimes it is a little hard to see the seam guage on the machine. You get a nice even hem doing this even if your hem isn't turned under perfectly.

Pocket pressed around template:

Pressed pocket:

Wash Away Wonder Tape placed on pocket for basting . If i think I need it or if I'm using plaid or a matching fabric I might use it all around the pocket.

Finished pocket sewn to shirtfront.

Sew the back to the yokes by sandwiching the back between the yokes. Press and topstitch. Refer to the pattern instruction sheet if needed.

Day 3

Steps 28- 30 on pattern instruction sheet.

This step is out of order from the pattern instructions but seems easier to me to handle less fabric.
The interfacing should be fused to the notched side of the front band. I go ahead and press the band in half before attaching to the shirt. Sew the interfaced side to the shirt front right sides together. Press the seam toward the band and press 5/8 inch under on the other side of the band . Grade your seam allowance to reduce the bulk,
Your band should look similar to this.


Now at this point you can do one of two things-- hand stitch the edge of the band on the inside of the shirt or use the Wash Away Wonder Tape to baste it.
If you use the Tape apply a strip the length of tape on the seam allowance where the band is sewn to the shirt. Remove the paper and press the folded edge of the band down.


Topstitch 1/4 inch from edge on both sides of the band.

Sew fronts to back. You can do this using the "burrito style" as pictured in the pattern or if you have a serger stitch a 5/8 inch seam and then serge the edge. Press the seam toward the yoke ,press and topstitch.

Day 4

Steps 12-19 in pattern instructions

Today we will sew the sleeve plackets and insert the sleeves.

I do this step a little out of order. The pattern has you insert the sleeve first and then sew the placket. It is easier to me to sew the placket to the sleeve and then insert the sleeve because I am handling less fabric.
This pattern is the first time I have ever seen a sleeve placket made like this one. The instructions in the pattern do a better job explaining this than I can so refer to the instruction sheet-- steps 12-19. If you keep the instructions close and follow them you should have no problem. I do have pictures to share.

This is a link to a tutorial on the Threads website for this type placket.  I thought someone might find it helpful.

I transfer the stitching line on both the placket and sleeve.

Here it is stitched on the stitching lines, cut between the stitching and clipped to the corners.


Narrow side of placket finished.


The other side of the placket using the template to get all the little folds pressed. ( I only cut this template for the top but next time I would cut it for the whole part of the placket. I also use the Wash Away Wonder Tape to baste this while I topstitch it.


Once the placket are done. Baste the sleeve pleats toward the placket.

Finished sleeve placket with pleats basted and pressed toward placket.


Sew sleeve into shirt using a 5/8 inch seam allowance and serge the edge if you desire. Press the seam toward the shirt and topstitch 1/4 inch away from the seam.

Day 5

Steps 23-26 per pattern instructions

Today we will sew the side seams and apply the cuffs.

Sew the side seams and press.
** Even if you are using a serger I would sew the side seams using the sewing machine andthen serge finish the seams. By doing this you will have some seam allowance to let out if you need the room for fit.

Make cuffs and apply according to pattern instructions. One piece of the cuff should be interfaced and the other left without interfacing. On the piece that isn't interfaced turn up 5/8 inch seam allowance and press. then with right sides of cuff together stitch. Trim the seam clipping the corners. Turn and press.
It should look like this.
Sew the cuff to the shirt and press the seam toward the cuff. You can use the Wash Away Wonder Tape to baste or hand stitch the edge of the cuff at the seam.

**When I made my denim jeans I found and used a tip online to help with bulky corners. I use a hammer and block of wood to tap down the bulky areas. For my shirt I used a scrap piece of fabric on top and bottom to protect my shirt. You may or may not want to do this. It is entirely up to you but I would try a sample first.


Topstitch the cuff. Two rows on the sleeve edge-- One at 1/4 inch and the second edge stitch at the edge of the seam. Topstitch 1/4 inch around the perimeter of the cuff.

Finished Cuff

Day 6 Almost finished

Steps 31-36 according to pattern instructions. Collar and collar stands

Make your collar , turn and press. Topstitch 1/4 inch from edge.

To help get a closer match on both ends of the collar stand you can use your marking pen to mark your stitching line on the interfaced side of the collar band before applying the collar stand.


Sew the interfaced collar stand to the neck edge with right sides together.
Sew the collar to the collar stand matching center and notches. Fold the collar and band section together and compare the ends making sure they are equal. If they are not equal then correct it.( You know I have had trouble with this to even be mentioning it. Lol

Collar stand sewn to shirt with collar sewn to band.

Turn up the 5/8 inch seam allowance on the long straight edge of the un -interfaced collar stand. Place the collar stands right sides together with the collar sandwiched between and sew. Trim and grade the seam clipping the curves. Turn and press. I use the Wash Away Wonder Tape to baste this as well while I topstitch.

Collar section "basted" and ready to be topstitched. Edge stitch collar band at neck edge and at collar edge.


Day 7 and last day of the Sew Along

Hem, Buttons and Buttonholes

If you notice the pictures for steps 27-29 you will see that the front band is longer I n the pictures than the shirt fronts and it has you do something different to the front bands for the hem. I have made 3 shirts by this pattern and for some reason my front bands were not longer. So I hemmed my shirt in one continuous narrow hem from one front around to the next. If your bands were longer like the pics you can finish th ehem like th epattern states or just trim off the bands level with the fronts and hem which is what I would do.
Make sure the two fronts are the same length. Do a narrow hem on the tail of the shirt by turning up 1/4 inch and pressing then turn up another 1/4 inch and press. Stitch.
Mark your buttonholes on the right for ladies and left for men. you can use the guide in the pattern on the front band pattern piece for the distance. I make mine 3 1/4 inches apart.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I had wanted a tunic in this style but didn't have a pattern so I decided to redraft a pattern that I had. I used McCalls 6571 which is a top pattern as the jumping off place.I determined the length from another tunic and used a shift dress to determine the width. I didn't make a paper pattern i just drew the line for the hem extending to the width I had decided on onto the fabric using a gel pen. Then I used the yardstick and drew a line from the armhole to the hemline.

The fabric is a knit interlock that was in my stash.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Faux "Fried" Potatoes

One of my very most favorite foods are fried potatoes. They are , however, not Weight Watchers friendly. I count these at 3 points plus per 1/2 cup serving.These are quite a good sub for thm. If you make them please post a comment and let me know how you like them.

Preheat oven to 375.
Peel and slice however many potatoes you want.
Wash and pat as dry as you can.
Place in a microwave safe bowl ( I always use plastic so not sure about glass).
Cover with plastic wrap.
I microwave on high for 5 minutes. Check at the end of 5 minutes to see if they are fork tender.Be very careful when you remove the plastic because of the steam.
Drizzle with just a little olive oil or vegetable oil.Salt and Pepper and toss.For enough potatoes for 2 servings I wouldn't use more than a teaspoon of oil.
Line a cookie sheet or baking pan with foil and spray well with cooking spray.
Spread the potatoes in a single layer and spray well with cooking spray.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until desired "brownness".

You can also cube the potatoes in about 1/2-3/4 inch cubes and use roasted potato seasoning from the grocery store to make roasted potatoes cooking this same way.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Super Easy Homemade Vegetable Soup

Super Easy Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup

Just add to the slow cooker:
1/2 lb lean ground beef , browned and drained
1/2 onion ,chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables ( i microwave 2  minutes to thaw)
2-  14.5 oz cans of tomatoes. I usually use 1 can whole and 1 can diced. I break the whole tomatoes        up right in the pot.
1/2 small can tomato sauce
4 beef bullion cubes( just throw in the pot)
1- can chicken broth
Pepper to taste. Doesn't really need salt. There is enough sodium in the canned foods and bullion.

Cook in slow cooker on high for about3-4 hours.
After cooling i measure into 1 cup servings and freeze. When frozen I usually pop out if the containers and drop into a gallon freezer bag. I then can enjoy as I wish without getting tired of it.
When ready to eat the frozen soup i place 1 serving in a bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir and/or break up any still frozen. Microwave 2 more minutes.

So good on a cold day plus is a low calorie lunch. I count it as about 2 Weight Watcher points per serving. The only things that would count as points is the corn in the mixed vegs and the ground beef and remember it is 1/2 pound to the whole recipe and a lot less than a 1/2 cup serving of corn,

Thursday, December 5, 2013

McCalls 6607-- with modifications

This is once again McCalls 6607. I wanted a very casual look to wear around the house or for running errands. I left off the cowl and raised the front neckline by about 2 inches. I also cut a neckband and used that to replace the cowl. I was unsure of the measurements so I measured the neck opening and cut the neckband 5 inches shorter. Next time I may cut it even a little shorter.
I also shortened the length by about 1 1/2 inches.

This is super comfortable.

The neckline. Youcan see I used white serger thread.Only we will know. I probably would not have changed the white thread to sew knit anyway but I am using the cast as an excuse this time.:)

Fleece Poncho

I just recently had surgery on my hand and knew beforehand that I would have a cast for a couple of weeks. i had no idea if my cast would fit through the sleeve on any of my jackets so decided to make myself a poncho. I saw one similar on Pinterest that had been pinned. I remembered using apattern several years ago to make my daughter a similar one. It is simply a rectangle  with an opening for the neck. I didn't have enough fabric so I had to put a seam on one side. I also thought a monogram would add some interest.